RETALIATION

Focus on behavior, not possible disability when disciplining employees

04/15/2014
Here’s a tip that may save you from unnecessary litigation: When it comes to disciplining a disruptive worker, focus on the behavior. Don’t speculate on the reason the employee may be disruptive.

Don't let lawsuit fear stop appropriate discipline

04/07/2014
Some employers want to avoid litigation and don’t like to discipline someone they are sure will sue. That can be a mistake, especially if the employee in question is harassing or discriminating against others.

Same job, new office? That's not retaliation

04/07/2014
While a real adverse employment action may trigger a retaliation claim, many minor changes aren’t truly adverse. For example, moving an employee to a different office without changing anything substantial about his job probably isn’t retaliation.

Beef over handling pork leads to court date

04/03/2014
A former meat packer at the Smith­­field Foods plant in Clinton has a bone to pick with the company. She claims her complaints about food safety went un­­heeded and uninvestigated during her 18 months on the job.

Court losing patience with pro se complaints

04/03/2014
Courts seem to be losing patience with so-called pro se lawsuits in which workers act as their own lawyers to sue and provide no specifics about alleged employer wrongdoing.

Prevent retaliation after good-faith complaint

04/03/2014

It’s illegal to retaliate against employees for complaining about sex discrimination or harassment. The employee’s initial complaint doesn’t have to pan out, either. It’s enough that the employee reasonably believed in good faith that she was being discriminated against.

Beware retaliation when rehiring after layoff

04/03/2014

When an employee complains about discrimination and then finds himself part of a reduction in force, he may have a tough time proving that the complaint had ­anything to do with the layoff. But if he then ends up being the only employee never recalled or rehired, he may have a retaliation case.

After employee files internal complaint, beware retaliation, correct problems ASAP

03/31/2014
Even if an internal discrimination complaint proves unfounded, you must still ensure that the em­­ployee who complained isn’t punished for doing so. Remind supervisors and the employee that you won’t tolerate any type of retaliation.

When employee brings frivolous suit, demand recovery of your attorney fees

03/27/2014

Here’s some good news for em­­ployers facing a clearly frivolous lawsuit: The employee bringing the lawsuit may find himself on the hook for the employer’s legal fees. That only seems fair since ­employers often have to foot the bill for an employee’s successful lawsuit.

Negotiating return to work? Don't rush firing

03/27/2014
Sometimes, employees end up on unpaid leave after complaining about discrimination. Then the employee’s lawyers try to negotiate a settlement that includes returning to work. If you turn down such terms, make sure you get clarification on whether the worker will return even if you don’t meet her demands.

Court: Less than stellar review isn't retaliation

03/17/2014
Proving retaliation is often easier than proving the underlying discrimination that was the basis for the original complaint. Still, an ordinary employer action—such as preparing a performance review that’s generally favorable—isn’t retaliation, even if the employee thinks he deserved a better review and more praise.

Cuomo proposes hotline for Albany harassment complaints

03/13/2014
Following a rash of sexual harassment complaints against state legislators, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed an independent investigator for complaints against members of New York’s legislative and executive branches.

Long history of misconduct? Document every step of disciplinary process

03/13/2014

When an employee is fired, he or she has nothing to lose by suing you. That’s why you should assume that every employee will do just that and prepare accordingly. That includes making sure you have documented every step of the disciplinary process, providing details and dates.

Prevent payback: Retaliation hits all-time high

03/10/2014
It’s more important than ever to remind supervisors that it’s unlawful to try to “get even” with people (staff or applicants) because they com­­plain about discrimination, either in house or to a government agency. While employee complaints to the EEOC about every type of discrimination declined from 2012 to 2013, only one rose: retaliation.

Employee doesn't have to be a minority to file a racial harassment complaint

03/07/2014
When nasty racial words are tossed around in a workplace, you may think the target of those words is the only person who can sue for racial harassment. Not true. It’s not necessary for someone to have protected status to complain about harassment or discrimination.
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